Can a Premier League side end fourth this season and not qualify for the Champions League?
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Can a Premier League side end fourth this season and not qualify for the Champions League?
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Can a Premier League side end fourth this season and not qualify for the Champions League?

UEFA rules change frequently but here's the lowdown on what will happen should English sides scoop all of Europe's major prizes this season and one finishes fifth in the Premier League.

Here's the black and white explanation from the governing body themselves: 

"Should a Premier League club win the UEFA Champions League they will automatically qualify for the group stage of next season's competition regardless of their league finishing position.

"Should a Premier League club win the UEFA Europa League they will automatically qualify for the group stage of next season's UEFA Champions League regardless of their league finishing position.

"A maximum of five Premier League teams are eligible for UEFA Champions League qualification.

"In the event that a Premier League club win the UEFA Champions League and another win the UEFA Europa League and neither of these clubs finish in the top four of the Premier League, the club lying fourth in the table will drop into the UEFA Europa League group stage.

In practical terms, this means that in order for an English side to miss out on the Champions League after finishing fourth in the table, Tottenham and Chelsea would have to win the UEFA Champions League and Europa League respectively, with both finishing outside the bottom four. If, for example, Arsenal finished fourth in this instance, they would drop out, IF Manchester United also finished in the top four at Tottenham and Chelsea's expense.

In other words, it's a highly unlikely scenario given the numerous variables at play and Manchester United's form, but you never know.

Tottenham faces Ajax in the Champions League semifinal next week, while Arsenal & Chelsea have Europa League semifinal dates with Valencia & Eintracht Frankfurt respectively.

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